Tag Archives: yarn

Pairfect socks

 

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You might think that the title of this post slipped by the spellchecker, but no!  These latest socks are knitted in Regia Pairfect yarn, which was a Christmas gift from my lovely friend Linda.

She knows what I like!

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After the travesty that was the poor Herriot Socks, these were an absolute joy to knit. The yarn is robust but not harsh and a good stripe always makes me knit faster.

“Just one more stripe!”

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The yarn is actually designed to give perfectly matched stripes on toe up sock patterns, but these are my trusty Regia sock pattern, which is top down.  I just knitted some blue for the cuff, pulled the yarn through until I hit the stripes, rejoined and knit until I came back to the blue.  There were a couple of more ends to stitch in at the end, but I’m happy to do that.

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You could of course knit these top down and have striped feet, but The Hubby’s preference was for stripy legs and I was happy to oblige.

Although I have another pair of socks on the needles at the moment (of course), I promise the next finished project will be something different.


Good socks gone bad!

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So! I recently finished two pairs of socks for the Hubby knitted from blue and plum coloured Juniper Moon Herriot Fine.  I don’t mind admitting that I’ve never been so glad to see the back of a project as I was these.

The yarn, as you’d guess from the name, is a lightweight fingering.  It’s also fluffy. And I didn’t like the plum colour at all! It’s fair to say that I didn’t enjoy one single stitch of these socks.

Except perhaps for the last stitch of the grafting of the toes.  I definitely enjoyed that one!

But he was happy and that’s why I knit him socks.  And to be fair to the yarn, the problems I had with it were down to personal preference.  It’s beautifully spun, the colours are soft and heathery, and, I’m told, they are supremely comfortable to wear. The skeins are generous at 461 yards/100g.

It’s also a hand wash alpaca blend.

You know what’s coming don’t you.

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Yep….hand wash alpaca blends do not take kindly to the hand wash programme in your washing machine.

Ooooops!

Which isn’t exactly what I said when I took them out of said machine!

I’m not entirely sure why the plum shrank more than the blue.  Possibly to do with the dye?!

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Total user error.  Thankfully they are just about still wearable!  And there are more pairs to come.  Just not in the Herriot yarn 😉


Overabundance!

Last weekend we finally found time for a little outing to Hebden Bridge to take the hexie quilt to The Quilt Cabin to be long arm quilted.  It’s my first time using a professional long arm quilter so I’ll report back on that in due course.  It was also our first visit to Hebden Bridge.

I wasn’t prepared for just how pretty HB is.  It’s a enchanting former mill town full of independent shops, quirky cafes and restaurants, and charming little streets.  A river runs through the centre of the town and as the day was overcast but dry we spent a happy few hours wandering in and out of the shops and taking a hearty and warming lunch at The Blitz 1940’s themed tea room.  Hubby had oxtail stew, I had a steak pie…both were delicious.  The meal was rounded off with a bowl of jam roly-poly and two spoons. Heavenly on a chill October afternoon.  And the staff are simply delightful.

Image courtesy of Feathegills Emporium, Hebden Bridge

Image courtesy of Feathegills Emporium, Hebden Bridge

On our meanderings we stumbled across Ribbon Circus yarn and sewing shop. Whilst I chatted happily with the owner and some of the other knitterly customers, Hubby prowled the shop with a sharp eye and the next thing I knew four new lots of sock yarn were being rung up on the till.  The man is a demon!

This is what we came home with:

Sirdar Heart & Sole in “Happy Camper”

This is a new yarn for me so I’m quite intrigued to give it a go and see how it wears. One of the other customers at Ribbon Circus was knitting another colourway of this and it stripes up beautifully.  If she hadn’t got the sock out we’d have escaped without these two purchases.  Damn you, lovely knitting lady!

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Sirdar Heart & Sole in “Find Your Sea Legs”

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Juniper Moon Farm Herriot Fine in “Lakeville”

Another new to me yarn and the one I’m most looking forward to knitting. Whisper soft alpaca with the gentlest of halos and 25% polyamide for strength.  Saturated, heathered colours.  What’s not to love?  I think these will be a joy to knit as well as wear!

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Juniper Moon Farm Herriot Fine in “Deep Plum Passion”

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With such an overabundance of lovely sock yarn, not to mention projects for Button and Me, I’m really rather pleased that I’m already on the second of the Tannat socks.

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Abundance

I finally finished knitting the husband’s Longfellow cardigan and handed it over to my friend Liz today for seaming.

If you ever wonder if you love someone, knit them a cardigan in 4ply.  If you finish it and can still look them in the eye, then they’re a keeper!

Knowing that I was on the home straight with that particular project I’ve recently spent some happy time online selecting my next projects and patterns.  Whilst Liz and I chatted today I borrowed her swift and ball-winder (mine are in storage) and spent a happy hour converting skeins  into jolly cakes of yarn ready and waiting to hit the needles.

Sadly it’s impossible to get a picture of them as it’s so heavily grey outside today.  A typically northern day, but I’m just glad it’s not raining!

Now, back to the knitting. In no particular order of what will be cast on first we have:

Fleur Bleue by Christal LK designs

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This will be knitted in the leftovers Drops Alpaca from Hubby’s cardigan.

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I do love my girl in a navy cardigan!

Lemongrass by Joji Locatelli

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I’ve been looking for something cosy to pull on over a tee or shirt for school runs and park date and this really fits the bill.  I love a good cable as you know and I’m enamoured with the unusual shaping of it.

I’ll admit it’s a bit of a risk shapewise…I’m not sure it will work for me.  But, if it doesn’t, I’ll frog the yarn and reknit it into something more conventional.

Speaking of the yarn, I’ll be knitting Lemongrass in this gorgeous Malabrigo Merino Worsted Azul Bolita.

Malabrigo Azul Bolita

The colour has slightly more purple in it than I’d anticipated online, but the colour is so saturated and luscious that I can’t be disappointed with it.  And the texture of the wool is sublime….slubby and soft and lofty.

It leaks colour like mad, so I’ll have blue hands whilst knitting it, but this is to be expected with kettle dyed yarn. It’s a price I’m very willing to pay!

And last but not least….

Socks by Regia

Winter is coming.

(GOTs pun entirely intended)

Recently over coffee Liz was knitting the most perfect pair of socks.  I loved the colour. I loved the feel of yarn.  Considering imitation to be the sincerest form of flattery, I quizzed her about the yarn and ordered a skein the same day.

It’s Manos del Uruguay Alegria in Tannat (A6729) and it is really quite lovely.

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Hub’s is thrilled!  He has quite bold taste in socks.

So…that should keep me in stitches for some time to come.  And who are we kidding…you know those socks will be cast on tonight! 😉


Langston Blue

When I bought the yarn for my Harbour Island cardigan, I chose the yarn before the pattern and so, as you do, purchased way too much.  With small folk in the house this is never a burden, so I had a quick look through Ravelry and realised that the Langston pattern was perfect.

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I have knitted this little cardi before and was thrilled with both the knitting of it and the end result, so it was a no brainer to cast on it again.

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This time I decided to knit it in plain stocking stitch without the cables.  I wanted a quick and easy knit that I could work on whilst watching a movie.

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The cardi had it’s debut outing on a girls night out to our new fave Italian restaurant, La Corte in Leyland.  Leyland isn’t renowned for much other than it’s automotive history, and certainly not for it’s nightlife, but La Corte is a welcome addition to the town.  And a great use of the long defunct old police station/court house.  If you’re in the area I highly recommend a visit!

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Button was given the choice of where she’d like to go and this was it.  Although the cardi was still missing it’s buttons at this point, it was the perfect topper for a cool but sunny summer’s evening.

This is super little pattern and I highly recommend it.


Summertime

….and the living is busy!

So much going on here.  The kids are on holiday from school now for 7 weeks. Already we have a playdate with friends and sleepovers at grandparents planned. A week at playscheme will be a good break for all of us, as will spending the last week with friends in Bedford.  It’s hard to believe but when they go back in September Button will be in juniors.

Needless to say everyone is tired.  Boy threw the mother of all tantrums this morning and after 3 hours (I kid ye not) of yelling and stamping and tears and throwing toys around the place he’s finally asleep.  Button is enjoying the respite as much as I. Things will settle soon after a few days of chillin’.

Husband and I are shattered as, despite not completing the reno on this house, we’re thinking the best option might actually be to move!

I know….it was totally outta the blue for us too.  But our current home is teeny tiny with a garden the size of a postage stamp.  After a recent visit to our friends in Bedford and their half acre garden, Button would stand at our bedroom window wistfully wishing that we could knock the fence down between us and our neighbours.  Add in that we have need of a home office  and a dedicated sewing room and only one small room that could eventually be argued over and we decided it’s time.  Trying to sew, eat and run a business from the kitchen table is getting old! We’ve spent the last few weeks looking at everything on the market that remotely fitted the bill.  We think we may have found the ideal candidate. There’s another interested buyer so we may lose out…time will tell.  I’ll let you know as things develop.

So, as you’d expect, there’s not much creativity happening here.

A little knitting…..

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This is Brooklyn Tweed’s Longfellow by Michele Wang which I’m knitting in Drops Alpaca in Navy (colour 5575) for Hubby.

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There’s also a quilt to be layered ready for hand quilting:

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And a new bag kit that I received as a birthday gift from my in-laws:

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Mine will be red leather.

That should keep me occupied over the holidays.  I’m hoping to get a little time at the machine too.  I’ve two lots of fabric for shirts for Boy and the yellow blouse is going to be remade for Button.

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I’m planning a version of her Liberty blouse, this time with a pleated front as per her request.

I think it will suit her more than me!

I also have a couple of makes that need photographing.  Perhaps we’ll have a day of nice weather soon and we can get out and about with the camera.

Priority for the next 7 weeks, though, is picnics and playing in the park.  Reading and drawing.  Visits to the zoo and museums.  Playdates and pyjama days.  Pretty much taking the days as they come.  Hopefully without too many meltdowns!  Either theirs or mine!

So posting will sporadic…I’m sure you’ll understand.  In the meantime I’m off to do some colouring with a small girl.  I’ll see you soon.

 


Fledgling Featherweight in Rowan Fine Lace

Who in their right mind knits a cardigan for a 7 year old in Rowan Lace Weight?

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Well, I’ve never claimed to be in my right mind!

And to give credit where it’s due, I took Button yarn shopping at John Lewis and this was the only yarn she would give the time of day to.

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I love a girl who knows her mind.  Expect, of course, when her mind is telling her that 7.30pm is too soon to go to bed.  Then we’ll beg to differ!

But back to the knitting.  Fledgling is the small person’s version of Hannah Fettig’s much loved Featherweight cardigan. I loathed knitting every single stitch of it! It’s laceweight knit on 4mm needles and is a slippery, pesky, tiresome knit.

But look at it!  It’s worth every hateful stitch.

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It’s the perfect throw on topper for cooler spring days.

It goes with most of her wardrobe (if we ignore the One Direction and girly superhero stuff…which I usually do (sorry Nana!) but Button beelines to, and who am I to argue?).

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And it passes the Button wearability test.  Which is always the most important one.

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I must, at this point, insert the caveat that this hatefulness is purely subjective because I loathe and detest knitting laceweight on (relatively) big needles.  The pattern itself is delightful.  So much so that this is my second time out with this pattern.  The first incarnation, in white, was a foolish project born of hope triumphing over experience. And common sense. It didn’t last long enough to be photographed before being destroyed by a large and immoveable stain of unknown origin.

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This kid cracks me up! She was freezing and boogying to keep warm!

This version is holding up to the trials of small peeps.  It’s been worn several times and is still intact. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll won’t have to knit this again until she grows out of it!

Zoolander has nothing on this girl!  Nothing at all!

Zoolander has nothing on this girl! Nothing at all!

A girl can hope.  Right?


CustomFit Harbour Island Cardigan

My love affair with Amy Herzog’s CustomFit continues. Although today was a tad too warm for photographing cardigans, I really wanted to grab some snaps so I could share this with you.

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The pattern is Amy Herzog’s Harbour Island knit in Patons Diploma Gold DK in the Navy colour-way.

I absolutely love this cardigan.  I cannot tell you how much.  It’s the perfect cardi for throwing on with a pair of jeans to do the school run when it’s too cold for just a t-shirt and too warm for a jacket.

And once again it fits perfectly at the bust and shoulders so even when unbuttoned it doesn’t slip off.

Harbour_Island_5Fastened you can see how brilliantly it fits.  To be fair the sleeves could be a little tighter but that’s because I opted for the relaxed fit option and a snugger sleeve is a personal preference.  I don’t notice it when I’m wearing it…I only notice how comfy I am!

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I like the 2×2 rib and the Vandyke Check Pattern Stitch on the cuffs and hem.  Both are really easy to do.  Both of them were frogged back time and again because I didn’t pay attention!

Why is it that the easiest stitch patterns are the ones that give me the most grief?

Needless to say this has been worn time and again since I finished it a couple of weeks ago (again with the wonderful seaming assistance of my friend Liz.  I swear she employs pixies to help her.  Her seams are a thing of beauty.)

I would absolutely recommend this pattern, and of course, CustomFit.  I was thinking of casting another of these on in a different colour, but then, when digging out the links for this post I saw Drumlin, which is just about The Perfect Cardigan as far as I’m concerned.

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I can see me knitting this in 4-ply/fingering in All. The. Colours.  So I’d better get cracking with the socks and cardigan for the Mr/cardigan for Button that are already in the queue and then I can get this on the needles for myself!


Tropical Socks

Grab your sunglasses, folks.  These are mighty bright socks!

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They positively glow!

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Madness!

The stripes matching is as good as I could get…the dye isn’t completely regular as you knit through the ball, but they’re as near as damn it and I’m ok with that.

The pattern is my go-to Regia pattern and the yarn is Rico Design Superba Poems in colourway 002.

There’s not much more to say about these socks other than “shield your eyes!”  So I’ll leave you with one last shot of my husbands manly legs.

Steady, ladies!

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Caribbean socks

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I remember the days when I swore I’d never knit socks ever again.  They are long gone. The Mr loves a hand knit sock.  So much so that you can’t let him near a yarn shop unaccompanied.  We called into my LYS last week for a circular cable and a spool of sewing thread and spent £19.  Two large balls of sock yarn had somehow found their way into the basket.

Apparently his concern was that a couple of nights previously I’d had no knitting to do until I’d acquired said cable.  He couldn’t leave me without any knitting, could he.  What sort of a husband would he be!?!?

Yeah…right! 😉

Thankfully, I did finish the Caribbean socks just in time for Valentine’s day.  More good luck than good judgement I can assure you.

Jawoll magic

The yarn, you may recall, is Jawoll Magic.  It’s a bit of a pest to knit.  It’s kinda puffy, I suspect due to the nylon content, so I found it a bit snaggy on the needles.  That said, I used bamboo needles that were a little past their sell-by date so they won’t have helped.

Why yes, those stripes are perfectly matched!  How kind of you to notice!

Why yes, those stripes are perfectly matched! How kind of you to notice!

I would knit this again, but only because I’ve treated myself to some KnitPro Karbonz for sock knitting.

Image: Meadow Yarn

Image: Meadow Yarn

I’m not usually a fan of anything other than wood as I like quiet knitting, but I think for socks, the dpns take too much of a bashing and I need smooth.  I’ve got another pair of socks on theses needles as I speak.  One that is equally puffy and pesky.  It’s a joy.  These needles are divine…and not overly clicky!  I’m seriously contemplating replacing all my needles with them.

The colours are wonderful.  The greys make the aqua and blue really pop!

The colours are wonderful. The greys make the aqua and blue really pop!

The pattern, as always, is my favourite vanilla sock pattern from Regia.  You can find it free on Ravelry here.

Apologies for the crinkles...I've been trying to get a photo of these for weeks but had to hide them from him when he went back to London.  these are freshly dried but not blocked!

Apologies for the crinkles…these have been drying over a radiator.  Sacrilege I know, but I’ve been trying to get a photo of these for weeks.  He will insist on wearing them as often as I can get them washed and dried,  so I had to hide them from him when he went back to London.